Hippocrates stated: All Disease begins in the gut!
I remember when I was plagued with digestive issues.
I had pain in my stomach, everything I ate caused indigestion, bloating and gas and even prevented me from getting a good night’s rest.
I knew that I had to change things, as what begins in the gut can quickly affect other areas of the body.
If your digestion is not working properly, you can’t eliminate toxins efficiently, and you are definitely not absorbing all that you should from your food.
You also leave yourself susceptible to INFLAMMATION, LEAKY GUT and a host of other health issues if left untreated.
Fortunately for me, I knew what to do. It was a sign that I was too stressed out and that my stomach acid was way too low.
That’s right, STRESS can lower your stomach acid and directly affects your DIGESTION! It’s no wonder us Westerners have trouble with digestive woes.
How Does Poor Digestion Affect Your Health?
Did you know that when your digestive system is not working properly, it can cause other areas of the body to manifest uncomfortable symptoms.
When your digestive system is weak, it often begins with low stomach acid.
The primary function of stomach acid is to breakdown protein.
When it is low, you can’t break down your food, and it can cause constipation, bloating, gas, skin rashes and even hair loss.
Another thing that healthy levels of stomach acid do are dissolves organisms like bacteria, viruses and parasites entering into your intestinal tract that be in your food.
If your stomach acid is too low, your first line of defense is compromised.
If harmful organisms get into your intestinal tract they can damage your microbiome and lead to mild to severe health problems
What Is an Intestinal Microbiome?
The intestinal microbiome is a combination of good and bad bacteria that keeps you healthy and happy. The good bacteria (aka flora) make up the first line of defense for your immune system and help your gut to produce 95% of your body’s serotonin (your feel good hormone).
Good flora has several functions:
- Maintains healthy hormone levels
- Detox excess hormones
- Keeps waistline trim
- Balances mood and emotions
- Stimulates digestion
Bad flora is something you need but only in a balanced level with the good flora. The bad flora helps to eat up by-products of digested food.
When good flora is reduced or eliminated by things like stress and poor diet i.e. fast food, processed food, pesticides and Franken foods, bad bacteria can overgrow. This can set off a host of different health issues.
Sometimes it can manifest as digestive complaints like gas and bloating, constipation, diarrhea, inflammation of the intestines, acid indigestion, etc.
But, it can also alter the tight junctions in your gut and create what is known as a LEAKY GUT.
Tight junctions prevent toxins and bacteria as well as food particles from leaking into the blood stream. When tight junctions are weakened, more health issues arise. Such as:
- Thyroid issues,
- Fatigue & chronic fatigue
- Multiple food intolerances
- Depression & mood disorders
- Arthritis & joint pain
- Brain fog
- Weight loss resistance
- Hair loss
Pretty much anywhere the blood circulates, health issues can happen if your gut is leaky.
5 Ways You Can Strengthen & Optimize Your Gut
1. Eat a Clean Diet - Make sure that you are eating a whole foods diet. Focus on fresh foods like vegetables and fruit, whole grains, healthy fats like nuts and seeds, avocado, and coconut oil, as well as proteins.
I like to focus on organic foods to keep the toxicity level in my body down and support my gut function.
Keeping processed grains out of your diet is very important when trying to optimize gut health and for most people I would even recommend staying away from gluten containing grains. Gluten is like a sticky glue in your intestinal tract and is not good for balancing your digestion.
2. Drink Clean Water – Make sure that you are drinking water that is not from your tap. Most tap water contains chlorine and fluoride in cities and municipalities. Those two chemicals decrease your good flora.
I suggest drinking pure spring water, Kangen water, or even as a last resort reverse osmosis with minerals added back in. Clean water is essential to your health and your gut.
3. Supplement – If you have signs of low stomach acid like gas and bloating, belching and constipation, I suggest increasing your stomach acid with things like apple cider vinegar before a meal, or using Digestive Enzymes with Betaine HCL. I recommend Digestive Enzyme Ultra with Betaine HCL. Click here to read more about it.
I also suggest optimizing your good bacteria with a probiotic like Natren, eating fermented foods like kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut on a daily basis, and even getting your hands in the dirt. The soil contains many strains of good bacteria that can keep our gut healthy.
You can also focus on a good gut healing supplement like Glutamine. It repairs the mucous membranes and tight junctions of your gut.
If you want to get this naturally, you can make and prepare your own bone broth, which contains glycine, glutamine and proline. It is an incredible gut healing food.
There are also supplements designed for repairing and optimizing gut function such as Glutagenic powder. Click here to read more about it.
These supplements are a great way to support your gut and optimize it.
4. Get Tested – There are wonderful tests out there to get a sneak peek into the inner workings of your digestive tract. They are so advanced that they can tell you if you have bad bacterial overgrowth and what kind; if you have parasites, candida overgrowth and even if your good flora is lacking.
I suggest a Digestive Stool Analysis by Genova. This test will tell you exactly what you need to do to improve your digestive health. You can contact me to learn more about this test.
5. De-stress – Stress lowers stomach acid and actually decreases the amount of good flora in your gut. So it is a good idea to keep your stress down.
Take a walk in nature, meditate by breathing deep into your belly, do yoga to stretch out your tight muscles, laugh even if its fake (this will release happy hormones) and take time to listen to what your body needs.
Above all else, remember that you are what you eat. So eat clean and make every choice a good choice.
Need help Optimizing your Digestive Health? Let’s talk…. Click Here to set up a consultation.